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RFID's Land of Opportunity: the Middle East

The region's oil and gas industry possesses a distinctive collection of traits that offer a phenomenal potential for RFID and RTLS technology adoption.
By Konrad Konarski
Warehouses supporting the oil and gas industry provide unique inventory-management challenges that are not often seen within other industrial sectors. Moreover, warehouses supporting Middle Eastern oil fields are unique in their own right. Oil and gas warehouses stationed on remote oil fields are constantly changing and growing. With each new project, a different set of equipment must be received and stored. Furthermore, environmental factors, such as temperature, sunlight and blowing sand, lead to unique, environment-driven workflows that demand consideration. Today, RFID technology has been deployed at warehouses across Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and other countries, to support warehouse operations and enable enhanced inventory management.

A Middle East warehouse commissioning RFID tags

The Oil & Gas RFID Solution Group (OGR) has been supporting technology adoption in the region since the inaugural RFID Journal LIVE! Middle East conference and exhibition, held in June 2009. During the past three years, RFID adoption within the region has grown noticeably. The Middle East conveys a distinctive collection of traits that make it a phenomenal opportunity for the adoption of RFID and RTLS technologies in the oil and gas industry. The local oil and gas organizations are leaders in their field, and enthusiastic adopters of emerging technologies, while the environments native to the region's oil and gas fields demand the benefits that can be achieved using these technologies. The Middle East is the land of great opportunity for RFID technology applications in oil and gas.

Konrad Konarski has more than 15 years of field experience in the oil and gas industry. His professional career has involved the oversight, support, assessment, program management and rollout of information technology hardware and software systems at more than 50 oil fields on five continents. He has been engaged throughout his career with a variety of advisory councils and strategic initiatives within the petroleum and energy market space. As the cofounder of the Oil & Gas RFID Solution Group (OGR), Konarski has helped enable oil and gas technology innovation and the market adoption of wireless, GPS and RFID technologies, with support from the group's founding members, including ExxonMobil, BP, Dow Chemical and FMC Technologies.

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